If your home uses a hydronic heating system, then leaks are a constant possibility. Although newer plumbing installations rarely fail catastrophically, improper installation or water problems can lead to corrosion issues or leaks near joints. Even a small leak can quickly lead to significant home damage, so knowing what to do after the source of the water is repaired is not always easy. These steps will help you to manage the problem so that you can quickly restore your home to its previous state while also preventing further damage.
Step 1: Evaluate the Extent of the Damage
Not all leaks are the same, and the extent of the damage to your home may not be immediately apparent. A small, pinhole leak in a basement pipe may not create serious issues, while even a minor leak behind a wall can be catastrophic if left unnoticed for long enough. When attempting to determine the extent of the damage, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the majority of the damage behind a wall or ceiling?
- Was the leak caught early or were surfaces in your home damp for an extended period?
- Was wood, drywall, or other organic material exposed to significant moisture?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then it is likely that your home suffered at least some water damage.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company
Many homeowner's insurance policies will cover damage from leaky pipes, so you should always contact your company and have the damaged appraised. Even if you do not believe that the damage is severe, starting a claim may allow you to uncover issues that are not immediately apparent from a visual inspection.
Step 3: Perform Mold Remediation
Unfortunately, water damage almost always means mold. Mold will quickly grow on any organic surface that is moist and warm, including drywall or wood. If water damage occurred behind a wall, then you may have issues with mold growth on studs or the back of the drywall panels themselves. Before performing any repair work, get in touch with a mold remediation company and perform a professional evaluation. It is imperative to have this inspection completed as soon as possible since mold can quickly spread, causing damage to areas beyond the portion of your home affected by the leak.
Step 4: Fix Remaining Damage
Once you have ensured that there is no remaining mold damage, it's finally time to get your home back to how it should be. Often, water damage will necessitate replacing and repainting sections of drywall. In most cases, mold on studs can be repaired without replacing the entire stud, so relatively small leaks will often only require limited drywall replacement and nothing else. Whatever the damage, however, it is vitally important to first guarantee that you are not facing a catastrophic hidden mold problem.
For more information, contact a mold remediation service like Advanced Air Quality Services.